Thoughts at 1 am

This is for the moms
whose vacations were taken
in the aisles of grocery stores,
at the tables of cafés,
in efficient trips to the shopping mall
or gym.
Whose nights off
meant eating out
or leaving the kids with Grandma.
Who see no end in sight,
no relief,
no breaks,
no peace.
Who hate to complain
’cause they signed up for this right?
It’s a sacrifice they have to make
and damn,
but they’re good at those.

This is for the people
who’ve found all exits blocked,
trapped in homes
that threaten to consume them.
With partners
or parents
or whoever it may be
that beat
and belittle
and go off like bombs
leaving nothing but ringing silence in their wake.

This is for everyone
whose schedules,
and routine
were medical requirements
abandoned in the crossfire.
Kids and adults
because suddenly their needs
come last.

For Asian communities forced to carry a weight that isn’t theirs.

For those without homes
and those with no one else to share them with.

For those who can’t work
and those who can’t stop.

For those stuck with their families
and those kept away.

For adults and children
with mental health conditions,
or disabilities,
or everyday worries and fears.

For seniors,
and in-betweeners.

For health care workers
and delivery drivers,
small business owners,
grocery store staff,
the helpers
and the helped.

This is for you.
Whatever that’s worth.

It isn’t a promise that things will be okay
because I don’t know.
I suppose it’s a wish —
a midnight thought,
an hour (probably more)
of lost sleep
imagining I could reach you.

All I can say is:
I will do my best to see you.
You deserve to be seen.
Your needs deserve to be met.

I hope you find safety
and peace
and justice
and connection
wherever you are.

And if you’re lucky,
I hope you find a good night’s rest.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

A Safe Distance

There is a space between

you and me

that measures
the exact distance
for a wild animal
to turn from deadly
to cute.

It is the kind of distance
that plays tricks on the eye —
blurring harsh edges,
leaving only pointillistic impressions
that tickle the most palatable of memories.

It is the size of
coalescing into sense,

kitchen knives
mistaken for
wooden spoons.

Ours is the distance of i n e b r i a t i o n.

An astigmatic blur
bloating e’s into o’s
and misjudging lies lines.

The time it would take to travel from

Point “me” to Point “you

is comparable to
that satisfying span
of autumn and summer
before we begin to pine
for the pleasures of the other.

Or the time
it takes a new mother
to break that promise
she made to herself:

Never again.”

It is the breadth of forgetfulness,
of longing,
of doubt,

but not of forgiveness.

There is a space between

you and me

and it is not enough.